2 April 2011

Arm Bands Advisable!

After Mick had mentioned in passing it was about time we were thinking about getting in some back to back legs, so this Saturday 2nd April brought an attempt at legs 1 and 2 in succession.
Dave, Rae, Andrew, Neil and I synced our heart monitors and set off up Skiddaw. Half way up Skiddaw the weather came in, cloud and severe winds, topping skiddaw was worse, Rae nearly having to hang onto a Cairn to remain upright. I was the only one mad enough to be carrying on to do leg 2, and at this early stage I was already thinking to pull out, worse was to come.
Running over to Calva was the wettest I’d ever seen it, then as we approached the river crossing it was a raging torrent with white water. I jogged up first and found a stretch that didn’t look too bad so waded in confidently, half way across I was up to my chest and the current starting to sweep me down river! I made a desperate lunge for the banking just managing to grab on and haul myself out, clothes completely soaked.
Rae followed, at this stage looking a tad concerned! He hit the same patch and started to drift downstream the water up to his neck, I just managed to lean in and grab the back of his rucksack in time to haul him out before going under.
Dave, Andrew and Neil having witnessed our fiasco were even more perturbed and chose for safety to link arms for the crossing, Andrew cunningly taking the middle spot. They looked calm until they hit the stretch of strong current when their expressions changed, if only we’d had the camera out, but thoughts of rescue took priority, the 3 of them making a collective lunge for safety.
All thoroughly soaked but still smiling we pressed on for our next adventure of the parachute route descent off Blencathra, which, after the river crossing was a breeze.
Saying a tearful farewell to my fellow survivors at Threlkeld I pressed on to do leg 2, still in wet gear but the weather now clear with a slight breeze to dry them out!
Jarv and Mike had met me at Threlkeld having headed there from Dunmail, and with Howgills training already in his legs from Friday Jarv dropped back a bit. I was determined to try and press on if only to get my clothes dried out!
I tackled Clough Head round to the left Mike choosing to go the traditional way straight up the front, he got to the top well in front and I could see him powering away with ease with the poles, as I caught him up at the summit he’d not even broken sweat, a stark contrast to me!
I tried to maintain a steady pace for the rest of 2 , the weather remaining clear and views superb, but as I descended off Seat Sandal down to Dunmail the pain in both knees was considerable , how on earth could they possibly last another 3 legs!
The evening was spent with a bag of frozen sweet corn on each knee as we’d run out of broccoli!
Back to Back legs done in just under 23 hr pace, but not a feat to be repeated too often if you value your current set of knees!
Ps. No photos as my cameras soaked, and I was too tired to take any anyway!

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